Oviatt Library

A History of African American Resistance Through Music, featuring The Cookies

Tuesday, February 14, 2023 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Shigemi Matsumoto Recital Hall (Cypress Hall)

Sponsored by the University Library, the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center, the CSUN Music Department, and the USU.

This event is FREE

The Cookies feature the extremely talented musical lineup of Maxayn Lewis, vocalist for the film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom; Bobby Watson, bassist for Rufus featuring Chaka Kahn and Michael Jackson’s “Rock with You;” Allen Hinds, guitarist for Randy Crawford and Cece Winans; and Donald Barnett, drummer for Toni Braxton and Lady Gaga. Their performance will provide an inspirational and funky evening of the structured yet improvisational and interactive ingredients of African American music developed in cotton fields, churches, juke joints, and nightclubs. 

Vocals — Maxayn Lewis is an American soul singer, musician, songwriter, and producer. She was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and began her musical career under her birth name Paulette Parker, as member of the Ikettes in the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. In the 1970s, Maxayn sang lead in the band Maxayn. She co-wrote "So Much More" recorded by Ramsey Lewis and "We Belong Together" recorded by Rockie Robbins. Both songs reached the Billboard R&B chart. Maxayn is also a prolific backing vocalist. She has sung with various acts, including The Gap Band, Ray Charles, Celine Dion, Bonnie Raitt, Duran Duran, Smokey Robinson, Ricky Martin, and Britney Spears. She also sang backup on albums for Sammy Hagar, The Gap Band, Rosanne Cash, Rita Coolidge, B.B. King, and Namie Amuro. Maxayn provided background vocals for the soundtrack for the film Grease and recently provided the lead vocals for all but one song in the film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

Bass — Bobby Watson was born in Memphis, Tennessee and raised in South Central LA. He started his musical journey-playing guitar at age six. While still in high school he went on tour playing bass for The Whispers. Bobby has a reputation around the industry for bringing a solid foundation to any unit, but he particularly shines in the group Rufus and Chaka Kahn, a band he joined forces with in early 1973. Bobby was a major contributor in helping create the 'Rufus' sound, not only with his playing, but also as a producer & songwriter on Rufus’s gold, platinum, and Grammy winning albums since 1973. Bobby’s production and songwriting credits also include the duo of Renee and Angela and Janet Jackson. His bass playing can be heard not only on Rufus albums, but on other hit records such as the Pointer Sisters’ "Jumping Jack Flash," Michael Jackson's "Rock with You," and Billy Preston's "Nothing from Nothing." 

Guitar — Allen Hinds was born in Auburn, Alabama. Allen was exposed to blues and R&B at an early age. Moving into jazz and fusion in his teens, he attended Berklee College of Music. He moved to Los Angeles to attend Musician’s Institute, where he has remained on staff to the present. Allen has six solo albums under his name. Besides a solo career he has performed and/or recorded with jazz and R&B luminaries including Hiroshima, Randy Crawford, Gino Vannelli, Patti Austin, Roberta Flack, BeBe and CeCe Winan, The Crusaders, Bobby Caldwell, James Ingram, Joan Baez and many, many others.

Drums — Donald Barrett was born in Waukegan, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He learned to play the drums at the age of three, and while on a scholarship to Northern Illinois University, he immersed himself in trios to big band, while studying with jazz greats Ed Thigpen and Wynton Marsalis. Donald moved to Los Angeles and found work as a session musician, and has played on numerous soundtrack albums, including Twilight: Breaking Dawn and the Kikaider Reboot. His debut single as a solo performer, Futurama, was released in September 2014. Donald has toured with Grammy Award-winners Toni Braxton and George Benson. He has performed with Sade, Seal, Pink, New Kids On The Block, Jesse McCartney, and Lady Gaga during her Residency in Las Vegas.